Where does Steve Spagnuolo rank among best defensive coaches in NFL history?

Spagnuolo set an NFL record for most Super Bowl wins as a defensive coordinator with the Chiefs' latest win

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The Kansas City Chiefs are Super Bowl champions -- again.

But unlike in past years, Patrick Mahomes' squad was helped by a dominant defense. The Chiefs suffocated opponents on their run to a third title in five years, allowing 15.8 points per game over four postseason wins.

The man in charge of it all? Steve Spagnuolo. The longtime NFL coach has been at the head of several historic defensive runs, with his latest triumph putting him into elite company.

Here's a deep dive into Spagnuolo's status in NFL history and some of the league's best defensive minds:

Who is the defensive coordinator for the Chiefs?

The aforementioned Spagnuolo has been the Chiefs' defensive coordinator since 2019. Over five seasons in Kansas City, Spagnuolo has been a part of four AFC titles and now three Super Bowl wins.

Prior to joining the Chiefs, Spagnuolo bounced around with several NFL teams from 1999 to 2017. He was an assistant coach with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999 to 2006 under current Chiefs head coach Andy Reid. Then, he joined the New York Giants as defensive coordinator from 2007 to 2008 -- a run that included a Super Bowl win over the previously undefeated New England Patriots.

Spags got his first and only opportunity as a head coach with the St. Louis Rams from 2009 to 2011, going 10-38 over three seasons before getting fired. He spent the next few years as an assistant with the New Orleans Saints (2012), Baltimore Ravens (2013-14) and Giants (2015-17), ending with a 1-3 stint as the Giants' interim head coach in 2017.

What defensive coordinator has won the most Super Bowls?

Spagnuolo now holds the record for most Super Bowl wins by a defensive coordinator in NFL history with four.

Washington's Richie Petitbon (1982, 1987, 1991) and New England's Romeo Crennel (2001, 2003, 2004) each won three titles as defensive coordinators. No other defensive coordinator has won three or more Super Bowls.

With that in mind, it's hard to argue against any of those three men as the best defensive coordinator in NFL history.

Who are the best defensive coaches in NFL history?

Outside of the three coordinators listed above, there have been a number of standout defensive minds -- both has head coaches and assistants. Here are a few of the best:

Bill Belichick: After winning two Super Bowls with the Giants as a defensive coordinator, Belichick helped lead the Patriots to six Super Bowls as a head coach.

Tom Landry: Landry won the NFL championship as Giants DC in 1956 before leading the Dallas Cowboys to two Super Bowl wins as a head coach -- with his defense allowing seven, three and 10 points in those three victories.

Chuck Noll: As a DC, Noll won an NFL and AFL championship. Then he took over the Pittsburgh Steelers and won four Super Bowls with a vaunted defensive unit.

Buddy Ryan: The father of NFL coaches Rex and Rob Ryan, the elder Ryan won two Super Bowls as a DC -- including a massive upset with the New York Jets in Super Bowl III and one of the greatest defenses in NFL history with the 1985 Chicago Bears.

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